Nic Wright

DVD review: Andy Parsons – Slacktivist

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Andy Parsons didn’t win anything at the British Comedy Awards. He’s been in two films, neither of which ever saw the light of day. And despite being the sole act at Harrogate Theatre, where he’s recording his new DVD, he’s been put in dressing room two.

Poor old Andy. Mock the Week’s least favourite son has never reached the arena-filling heights of his regular co-panelists, maintaining a relatively low profile beyond his spot on the satirical show’s desk.

Perhaps he lacks the edge of Frankie Boyle, the salability of Russell Howard. Or perhaps it’s that annoying way he swaggers up to the mic, looking smug, expectations provoking titters before he’s even spoken.

Still, he’s managed to get a few DVDs out of it. On this, his third DVD, Slacktivist, Parsons sets out to skewer the finance industry, Kendal Mint Cake and the media’s myriad of supposed cancer causes.

Despite his reputation for barbed political spoofs, Parsons opens up with broad observations, picking on easy targets like Jimmy Carr, and utilising jokes you might’ve seen on fridge magnets. And the good ones, you’ve probably heard him use on Mock the Week anyway.

Parsons fails to raise much beyond the odd half-smile, too well-trodden is the material, too thin his tales of embarrassment and everyday frustration. Only in the second half does he delve into Conservative policy, the minimum wage and immigration, and only then does he showcase anything engaging.

He quickly reverts back to quoting Fifty Shades of Grey, and intercutting a Shakespearean monologue with imagined discourse from the… ever-relevant Mitchell brothers.

He’s amiable enough, not nearly as grating flying solo as he appears in his role as panelist, but there’s little here to rouse any real amusement; in fact it’s difficult to recall anything from the hundred minute set once it’s over.

On the upside though, apparently dressing room one was shit anyway. So it’s not all bad for Andy.